In A House With No Hot Water

Alex General Nuggets, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

I understand there are situations which are much worse, such as no heating as well as hot water, but to be fair, having to take a cold shower in the morning is quite a hefty punishment! The main problem we have here is that we have no idea why there is no hot water, as there is heating, indicating the boiler must be working. My father has an interesting way of checking what the problem is, which is not at all helpful. He seems to just say the same information over and over again, which is probably because I apparently have no common sense.

It’s probably a leak somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it. I must say though that civilisation has made us all incredibly soft, think of our ancestors, who probably never bathed, yet again, they probably stank worse than dog faecal matter! Well whatever it is, I hope it gets fixed soon, it’s like taking a shower at WS2013 all over again in one of those ‘porta showers’!

 

The Benefits Of Lucid Dreaming

Alex Lucid Dreaming, Project Gecko, Superconscious Thinking 0 Comments

Yesterday, I talked about the dangers of Lucid Dreaming and may have scared some of you into trying it for yourself. I only explained one side of the argument yesterday though, so here’s the other side, the benefits of lucid dreaming.

1. Improves problem solving skills
Lucid Dreaming allows you to solve problems in a 3D environment whilst in the dreamscape, once you know the basics. Ask any Lucid Dreamer to solve a problem for you, I bet they’ll find an answer for you.

2. Improves Creativity
Well what good is creativity? This is a good point, if you are going to pursue an academic career rather than an artistic one, but it could come in handy if you plan to write novels or decide that you want to compose music

3. Face Your Fears & Increase confidence
If you’re afraid of flying, imagine yourself on a plane. If you’re afraid of heights, then jump out of a plane. If you’re worried about asking out a girl and you think Gecko is a load of rubbish (most people do) then you know what to do!

4. Explore Alternative Realties
You can fly through dimensions where the moon is made of cheese, where code monkeys are the norm and binary is everywhere. Less Nerdy Alternatives are available…
5. Speak To Your Subconscious
By speaking to your subconscious, you can really have a better understanding of yourself and improve in many areas where you may be doing badly or even completely failing! It’s actually a really useful thing to be able to do!

So I hope that I have convinced you at least to try lucid dreaming for yourself or at least see some reasons why it is a good thing to do and actually see some reasons why it is not all that bad, if not a little strange. I’ll leave methods for another time.

Feel free to leave any comments below and share with your friends.

Dangers Of Lucid Dreaming??!!

Alex General Nuggets, Lucid Dreaming 0 Comments

I’ve been lucid dreaming for such a long time now, that I automatically gain lucidity during REM sleep. While this is a great achievement, It’s actually very dangerous to my well-being and I have started to see some effects, whether these are long-term or not is another thing altogether. All I can say is that I hope these will not be long-term. I must say please DO NOT let this put you off trying it for yourself!

For those of you who don’t know, Lucid dreaming is the ability to control your actions in a dream. This allows you to do various things including manipulating your surroundings, flying and even tapping into other dreamscapes through the controversial technique known as dream walking. Pretty much the art of dream control. Many people who lucid dream, are unaware that it is in fact dangerous, for a matter of fact, I was totally oblivious to this fact until very recently!

1. It can be addictive
When I first started lucid dreaming, I induced one every night, starting off with the MILD, before moving onto the WILD, allowing myself to indulge in thrilling hypnagogic hallucinations! It can also guide you away from reality and as a result, some people (not all people) might actually start leaving their waking life!

2. False Memories and Dissociation!
You may have problems with associating what is going on, as boundaries may weaken between waking and sleeping. For example false memories may occur. You may also forget certain things which are important to you on an academic, social or possibly financial subject or matter.

3. False Awakenings
These can become very common with those who lucid dream. Oh, I’m awake you might think, but you’re not! These are often extremely annoying! It can often be described as being stuck in a dream!

4. Inability To Stop
Some people are able to train themselves to lucid dream to a point that they can do it naturally whenever they dream, making normal REM dreaming sequences the art for these people. There are few people who have suffered from this however and it is controversial, this means it has not been proven and has only been experienced by people who train themselves to lucid dream on a nightly basis over a few years. This includes myself, however there is no direct correlation with nightly lucid dreaming and the inability to stop!

So these are the dangers of Lucid Dreaming. I might have made it sound like gloom and doom, but really it’s considered a strange, yet interesting thing to do. I would recommend trying it, just use in moderation! Please do not let anything I said in today’s post put you off the idea, if you so wish to become a lucid dreamer.

 

A Year Of Linux

Alex computer shennigans, Computers, General Nuggets, Linux, Reviews & Opinions, Software & Code, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

So I’ve been using Linux as my main operating system for just over a year now. It’s given me a fair amount of publicity that I’m a fully integrated Linux Technical Nerd. I’ve also converted a few people from Mac to Linux, although I don’t intend to cause Windows Users to use any Linux distro as their chosen operating system of choice.

In February 2013, I had a huge disaster with the install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolian. The cause of the problem was due to the fact that I had no swap partition available. Of course I didn’t know this, so decided to restore my computer using boot disks (a common thing that most failed linux newbies do) and call it quits for a couple of days. I then installed the wubi.exe, of which I had to reinstall a couple of times due to me messing with compiz.

When 13.04 (Raring Ringtail) was released, I switched to this build, as the unity environment was much more responsive. In addition to this, skype and pulse audio appeared to run correctly unlike the previous build. During this time, I experimented with other distros such as Fedora, Linux Mint and Suse, I always preferred Ubuntu to these distros though. I was no longer constricted to the Wubi either, I now had a fully functional dual booting system!

In October, 13.10 (Saucy Salamander) was released, which also brought some changes to the Unity environment. Web results were now included in the dash search. It was also at this time, when I started to play around with compiz again, causing my system to break. I also created a portable boot on my usb stick, so I could take an operating system with me wherever I go.

So after a year of using Linux, would I recommend you switch or dual boot with it?

Only if you are tech savvy and willing to learn. I would not recommend this for people who are not capable of using computers, then again, my Grandma uses Linux so if she can use it, then there’s no reason why you can’t!

The Dodgiest People In Society

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

I found myself doing a contact transfer for 210 from a Nokia E72 to a Samsung Galaxy S II for a customer the other day and that has reminded me of my distrust for people who work in the phone unlocking and case selling business.

I understand that it is a good way of making money and I understand that phone repair is an honest profession, although when you see these “backstreet” unlockers who set themselves up in malls and on streets, its like a secret society of conspiratorial insinuators! Saying that there’s probably someone thinking the same thing about me, why the hell does this person use Linux, what are they plotting? That sort of thing. I digress…

What I’m trying to say is that if you computer is broken, you might choose a cheap repairman (or repair woman, computer science is for girls as well!) because lets face it, no one wants to have to fork out £100 for a whole new motherboard, but the fact is you’d never take it down to someone in a booth on a street or in a mall, so why do it with your phone? Phones these days can be just as complicated as a computer!

“Ah but”, you might say, “I don’t need to replace a motherboard in my phone, it just needs to be unlocked!” So what? have you ever been locked out of your own system on a computer? Well the chances are pretty low, but it can happen. Even if this happened, you’d call someone to fix it for you and legally hack into your system to regain the password or again, you’d send it to a shop! In addition to this, the people in computer shops are generally friendly unlike your backstreet unlockers, which poses the question why aren’t they friendly?

What do you guys think? leave a comment below or write a post about it and send it to me.

SmCollider Exhibition Review

Alex General Nuggets, Physics, Reviews & Opinions 0 Comments

Those of you in the know, will probably have knowledge that the Science Museum (Sm) in London has a new exhibition called collider (or the SmCollider). The big question that many of us will be asking is “Is it any good?” and is it worth the money?

The exhibit is based on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) situated at CERN on the French Swiss border, which covers an area of 27km (about 16.8 miles if you’re old fashioned). This technical piece of kit smashes protons (extracted from hydrogen) together at approximately 99.9999991% of the speed of light at different frequencies. There are approximately 40 million collisions per second, thus not all readings are recorded. These readings are processed and sent on a worldwide scale to researchers. The collisions are hotter than  the sun and the LHC is colder than the deepest depths of space.

I pre-booked some tickets for the event for 12PM yesterday. I know a bit about particle physics, the standard model, that everything is made up of matter, which is made quarks. To make a proton, you need two up and one down and an electron you need two down and one up, 65 billion neutrinos travel through your finger nail per second. The real basics of particle physics. So I went to Science museum, which is where my real passion for science developed. After navigating through some nostalgic exhibits, I made my way to the basement, following the big yellow sign which read ‘collider, come and see inside the world’s biggest experiment’. On entering the waiting room, I was greeted by some people. I must say I was fascinated by the equations on the walls, what the Sum of infinity has to do with this puzzled me slightly and unfortunately I never found an answer to this question, thus I assumed someone had just chosen to write a load of random equations thinking that no one could fathom to care about it! Well I suppose I am a pedantic person!

After 10 minutes wondering around observing the sums and formulae on the wall and looking at the previous particle accelerator (the Large Electron–Positron Collider or LECP for short) it was time to enter. There was an entertaining video to start off, which was very easy to watch and would satisfy any person who wanted an explanation, which they could understand easily. It did contain Professor Brian Cox who in fact did no explaining whatsoever.

Once the video had finished, we were free to poke around the collider. There were informational videos and little diagrams explaining topics, such as the standard model, quarks and how it all works. There was even a phone call from one of the people working on one of the detectors who was complaining that the CMS detector was getting more collisions (which I found hilarious)  and records of an accident, when hydrogen leaked. I did notice a few people behind me wanted to know more, so I think the exhibit could have done with a few explainers, rather than a load of security guards breathing down your neck making you think that you’ve done something wrong because you’re looking at how everything works! Other than that, it was a great exhibit and I would highly recommend it for all ages .

If you need any further details on the collider exhibit, then you can visit http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/Home/visitmuseum/Plan_your_visit/exhibitions/collider.aspx for more information.

A New Challenge

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

I’ve just been set a challenge to code a game in 24 hours straight. That means that I won’t be able to sleep in that time and I will have to limit the time and the amount of breaks I have. I haven’t cleared a day for it yet, but I need to find a day by next Saturday or I will do it on Saturday.

At the moment, I’m currently planning the game, which is not part of the 24 hours.  The 24 hours starts as soon as I type the first line of code into the program. This challenge has been set by Jamie Agate and after I complete this challenge, I will be launching a similar challenge. So stay tuned for that

 

Somerset Levels Flooding : What You Need To Know!

Alex Current Affairs, General Nuggets, Geography 0 Comments

In January, the people of Somerset faced a major issue, flooding. What were the causes and the consequences of Somerset flooding and should dredging have been done sooner to prevent this from happening?

General Facts

The Causes

  • Most of Somerset is low-lying –  which means that it is vulnerable to spring tides and high tides.
    File:Map of Somerset Levels.png

    Areas of Green on the map represent land 20-40 metres above sea-level

  • Ground Saturation – due to antecedent rain. This prevented infiltration, increasing the overland flow.
  • Spring Tides and High Tides – Forces water upstream.
  • Change in land use – Trees have been cut down, to make way for housing, which means there is less interception and less water is lost due to Evapotranspiration.
  • Climate Change – Climate Change is causing us to have warmer and wetter winters.
  • Lack of flood protection – There were no flood prevention strategies in place. Dredging was denied by the council multiple times. This would increase the hydraulic radius and also the amount of water the river can hold. This could however cause flooding at the mouth.

Map shows areas of Somerset underwater after recent flood

 

 

The Consequences

  • 40 properties have been affected – A further 80 have were evacuated on Saturday the 8th of February
  • Wildlife and plant species have been killed – Including field mice, rabbits and foxes
  • Main roads have been closed – communities such as Muchelney completely cut off. Businesses face huge disruption
  • Businesses paying people to stay at home –

    This Car has been submerged due to the severe flooding

  • Floating Walkways – These have been erected to allow the Muchelney to get their support boat back, used so that local people can reach dry land.
  • Decline in tourism – No person would visit a flooded town

 

The current situation

The Prime minister, David Cameron, has promised to dredge the rivers as soon as possible! Climate Change experts are blaming the flooding due to rising levels of carbon dioxide. Dame Julia Slingo, the Met Office’s top scientist, said while none of the individual storms had been exceptional, the ‘clustering and persistence’ was ‘extremely unusual’. In addition to this, she stated that rising Atlantic temperatures, greater moisture in the air and increased carbon emissions was ‘evidence’ that climate change was to blame for the extreme weather. More rain is expected, which is likely to cause greater issues for the people of somerset.

Meanwhile, the river Thames continues to rise and thousands are predicted to be affected. I’ll be publishing another article about that within the next 24 hours!

The Binary Humans Part One

Alex General Nuggets, Short Stories 0 Comments

My name is Dexter Wonologo and I’m a genetically altered survivor of the after effects of global warming.

I stood up and dusted myself down, as if I was a jockey who had just fallen off his horse. I took a deep breath in. I could see the sun. I stared up at it, observing its glorious strength as it rose. The planet was filled with thick orange dust on the ground where the plant life had been. Earth was no longer sustainable!

When this news broke out, I returned to the UK. There are a lot of things about my past that I’ve forgotten, but that’s what happens when the unthinkable happens, desperate times call for desperate measures. Our space technology was not advanced enough, thus we needed a temporary solution while the planet was rebuilt. My body underwent genetic modification, for my mind was pure and I was classed as ‘not evil.’ The genetic modifications made allowed me to perform both photosynthesis, as well as respiration. Each country has its own genetically modified representatives,  people who were not bothered by the elements, ‘pure of mind’ and did not care for their past, only the present and the future. After each country had chosen its representatives, everyone else was converted into software which ran on computers. The brain is effectively a computer, with electrical impulses running across it all of the time, so we can convert it into software which can run on computers! This lasted for some time until the power ran out. The software binary code was printed on sheets of paper which could not be damaged (reinforced paper) days prior to the event.

I’m now performing calculations 24 hours a day to keep all 60 million people alive. I know what you’re thinking, couldn’t you just leave them in that format? The answer is no, we need to prepare these people for the outside world and our first priority is to calm this extreme weather. I’m not alone though, I have the help of five other people. Now none of us chose to be genetically modified, the Government chose us and we agreed. There were originally 45 of us, but most died, due a failure in the process. I think we’re making progress though, we’ve nearly got a power system up and running off wind, solar and hydroelectric power (it’ll be great to get the old Asus out again) the chemical team is working on the biological recreation of life and the only problem is what if we don’t survive, without us, the human race will be on pieces of paper with binary written all over them, scattered across the universe! I guess that’s why they chose people from both genders, but to bring up a child in this world, what would it be like?

In the distance I thought I saw a glimpse of my past, a girl by a river. I walked over to her. The humans can live a little longer without me, I’ve spent 5 years of m,y life putting them first, I think I deserve a little alone time!

Why Gecko was created

Alex General Nuggets, Project Gecko, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

Project Gecko was something that I created last year, that I thought I would never actually bother with. However by April the first, I’d completely changed my mind which has left a lot of people wondering ‘why?’

It was January time in 2013 and I discovered an article on a US Government program known as Pandora’s Box. Unfortunately, this article has now been removed due reasons of ‘sensitivity’ so I can’t show it to you. I personally thought it was interesting, but some of the information was utter rubbish. I did however use some of the advice given, which gave me great success in a coffee shop on a Saturday morning.

Like everything in this world, their program wasn’t perfect, so I thought about starting a project like it, but from fresh data. There was however one problem with this, I had no idea how to prove it! I decided against the creation of Gecko throughout February and most of March.

In March, the year 11 prom was on my mind and I had formulised what I called “the perfect plan” which turned out not to be so perfect, because for some reason I decided to go all sixteenth century on her and write a bloody poem! Despite the poem being up to scratch by all my assessors, it failed. I broke off web development at that point, I wasn’t in a good place.

It was shortly after all this (April 1st 2013) that I decided that this must never happen again and that I must figure out all faults of mine and come up with a logical system. This logical system became Project Gecko! In recent months, I’ve shared this controversial project, however I never designed Gecko to be used by other people though which is why many people I know are either confused by it and in some very rare cases, are slightly scared by it.

 

A Rubber Band Situation

Alex Alex's Terminology, General Nuggets, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

Terminology: ‘Rubber Band Situation’
Date Created: 02/01/2014
Is Used By Many?: No
Basic Definition:
A rubber band situation, is a time in a relationship when one or both parties begin to ‘stretch their boundaries.’ Stretching boundaries is often a sign that the relationship is healthy and is often said to be a requirement to prevent unhappiness within the relationship. There is also a case when it’s not healthy and bonds will break, if you stretch too much. If you stretch it a little in the healthy zone then the bonds won’t break.

Example:
John and Stacey were in a healthy rubber band situation and were happy

Don’t Flap like Flappy Bird!

Alex Current Affairs, General Nuggets, Mobiles 0 Comments

You’d have had to be living in a hole not to hear about the latest mobile game to take the nation by storm. Of course, I’m talking about ‘Flappy Bird’ which is currently the biggest app on the i-Store and android market. Despite the game being free, the game is currently generating a revenue of $50,000 (£30664.42) on a daily basis and this figure is predicted to rise when the app flaps its way into the Windows marketplace.

Flappy Bird is a very simple game, it requires you to tap the screen to make a little bird fly or not tap for him to fall. Using this initiative, you must navigate through a gap in pipes and avoid any other obstacles. I say that it’s simple, but it’s really not! The graphics of this game are very similar to Mario and no offence to the programmer, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t require that much code compared to some games for mobiles. The game has proved to be very addictive and would appear to control your mind so that you always choose to ‘play again’ rather than exiting the game, which can leave people trapped in playing the game.

Now I’m not really a fan of flappy bird, but for some reason I found myself playing it on my computer and I suffered the same symptoms as above. I’m managing to fight the urge so far, but I don’t understand how this could happen. Maybe deep down I subconsciously like it, we can however learn a lot about addiction from flappy bird such as what causes it and in some cases how to resist it. The fact that flappy bird is viral also shows us that as humans, we still have no idea what we actually want!

Recipe for addiction

  • Make it simple – Look at how simple flappy bird is, I would imagine that it wasn’t too difficult to code either providing you know the language
  • Make it free – No one wants to have to spend money on a mobile game unless they really have to.
  • Make it challenging – There is no doubt that flappy bird is a challenging game to play
  • Make it available on mobile devices –  Mainly on Android and IOS
  • Make people hate it – Sounds stupid, but deep down inside, the people who hate the app, secretly like it

Overall flappy bird, love it or hate it, is the current mobile game that has gone viral. The fact that it is so simple proves that as human beings, we still have no idea about what we actually want.

Windows XP To Be Unsupported

Alex Computers, General Nuggets 0 Comments

It was announced back in August by Microsoft that support for Windows XP will end on the 8th of April 2014. If you are an XP user, chances are that you’re going to have to migrate to Windows 7 or the dreaded Windows 8 (which has received numerous amounts of bad press this year) or maybe you’ll go open source!

Back in 2003, when I was about 4 or 5, my father bought a new laptop running Windows XP. Its processor was a 500MHz single core, it had 8GB of Hard drive space and 512MB of RAM. I’m sure you’ll agree, that technology has advanced far much more than that now, with computers being sold with 1TB hard drives, 8GB, 3.6GHz dual core processors as minimum requirements. At that time though, XP was all the rage and has certainly managed to be supported longer than Vista. If there was a bomb on my back, which I could not disarm and my only hope was a bomb disarming robot running XP, it might be a little slow, but I’m sure I could depend on it.

What was the best part of XP?
Well of course it had to be the space pinball! Others may have liked it for its great support for programs and how easy the install was.

So if XP was such a great system why are Microsoft getting rid of it?
In 2002, Microsoft its Support life-cycle policy based on customer feedback. The policy includes 5 years of mainstream support and five years of extended support at the current service pack level. This means that the time for Windows XP has run out. Besides it’s operating system was not as attractive or responsive as Windows 7. You can however still use Windows XP, you just won’t get any more updates and your system is likely to come under great risks.

I’m an XP user, what should I do?
There are a number of things you can do.

  •  You could buy a new computer, which is recommended if your computer is very old
  • Upgrade your current PC which can be found here
  • Install a flavour of Linux which meets your system requirements

For more information on this topic, visit the links below:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/endofsupport.aspx
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/end-support-help

Tube Strike Begins

Alex Current Affairs, General Nuggets, Travel 0 Comments

Embedded image permalink

How the Tube Strike will affect commuters today

Many of you will probably know that the London tube strike has started today (Wednesday 5th February 2014) and will continue for the next 48 hours. The root of the problem is said to be job losses.

The tube carries approximately 1107 million people every year, with the busiest station being Waterloo, which carries 57,000 people entering during the three-hour morning peak. It is heavily relied on each morning to get people from where they are to where they want to get to for both work and recreational activities.

The strike was caused when there were job losses due to closed ticket offices, due to more people using oyster cards and eventually bank cards. As a result of this, there will be 950 fewer staff, which would save a total of £40m a year.

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Waterloo Today

These ticket offices were closed on Tuesday night at 9:30PM, which was after

the day which both Mayor of London Borris Johnston and leader of the rail union Bob Crow each accused the other of putting a gun to their head. The unions however don’t want 950 members of staff to take forced redundancy, therefore this strike is taking place.

Transport for London says that so far 450 staff have taken voluntary redundancy, it says there will be no compulsory redundancies but that is on the proviso staff remain “flexible”. Despite this, there are genuine concerns from the RMT and the TSSA about safety and reducing workforces.

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They do know that there is a tube strike right?

A replacement bus service has been provided, but of course buses are not able to go as fast as the tube trains which don’t have to deal with the congestion of London. The guardian have stated that the speed of the buses is ‘a pace roughly similar to that of treacle sliding off a spoon.’

I must say that the weather is absolutely lovely for a tube strike. A spot of rain is just what we need. Apparently many people had no idea of this tube strike, despite it being all over the news and all over Twitter as well! Travel safely and good luck with getting into work today, it’ll all be over in 48 hours!

 

February flooding?

Alex General Nuggets, Geography 0 Comments

The environmental agency enforced a warning yet again for more flooding to some parts of the UK last weekend. Those in affected areas were advised to take advice from the environmental agency.

1-28 January 2014 rainfall anomaly map

Shows rainfall percentage in relation to averages in 1981 – 2010

We have had the wettest January on record with some areas of the UK receiving 220% more than the 1981-2010 average. This antecedent rain has caused ground saturation preventing infiltration and causing overland flow, which has run into rivers causing flooding.

One area which has been greatly affected is the Somerset levels, where the fire service have provided 10 extra pumps in an effort to ease the flooding in the area. The Prime minister David Cameron has promised to dredge the river parrett as soon as possible, which should increase the amount of water that the river can hold as well as its hydraulic radius (channel efficiency). Due to this increased channel efficiency, the river velocity will be able to increase, meaning that water will be carried downstream more quickly. This dredging could however cause flooding downstream. Roads and villages have been cut off for nearly a month now and around 11,500 hectares (28420 acres) of land have been flooded by 65 million cubic metres of water.

 

In Wales Aberystwyth university has evacuated its students in residence, due to the coastal flooding because of high tides.

In recent years, there has been a shift in the jet-stream. The jet-stream usually provides the UK with mild and wet weather, however because of the shift, we are receiving colder conditions and wetter weather.

As we move into February the question is will this flooding continue and if you’re not flooded, will your home be affected? Hopefully February won’t be as wet as January, however weather is ridiculously unpredictable, so keep an eye on the environmental agency website for more details http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx

Alex’s Guide For Rescue Discs

Alex Computers, Cyber Security, Linux, Reviews & Opinions, Software & Code 0 Comments

What is a rescue disc?

If your computer is running or behaving stranger than usual, this could be due to a problem with your system. The most likely cause of this problem is viruses and other types of malware. Most people believe that anti-virus software can completely remove viruses, however many anti-virus softwares can end up infected showing more or less viruses in scans than there actually are. If you are running Norton, AVG, kespersky, Avast or malware bytes, there is a chance that this has already happened, although it is likely to happen with other anti-virus systems as well. A rescue disk, is a boot-able  DVD, CD or flash media device (such as a memory stick) that runs an operating system designed for the purpose of fixing these problems.

 

Who sells rescue discs?

Generally you don’t buy rescue disks, you download them from a site and burn the ISO file to a disc or a USB memory stick. AVG, Avira, Trend Micro all provide excellent discs for free and are very effective at removing viruses from a system. If you don’t know how to burn an ISO file to a disc, click here for an in-depth tutorial

 

How do I use it?

If you have Windows 8 or a system with ‘Secure Boot’, this might be a little trickier. In the past computers have used a Basic Input Output System (BIOS), but now Macs and Windows 8 use the UEFI specificationwhich is said to be faster and more secure, by preventing malware from attacking the boot sequence. This is said to be the main cause for computers failing to boot. If you still wish to go ahead with this, you’ll need to disable the secure boot, which I have included a guide for here, otherwise, I’m sure it will be fine.

If you have a system without secure boot or you’ve disabled it, you’ll need to access the boot menu, which can be done on most machines using ESC and F10 at the same time, and select the media device with the rescue system on it. Alternatively you could access the BIOS and switch the boot priority, but for most purposes the boot menu is recommended. Then the rest should be fairly self-explanatory and any additional help will be found in the PDF instruction manuals which can be found on the site of the rescue disc.

Any that you’d recommend?

I’ve mainly used rescue discs to fix computers with over 1000 viruses, nothing to do with booting problems, however I reckon that the ones I have used would do a sterling job with that as well. The ones I’d recommend are

I’d also recommend looking at this web post if it is indeed a problem with booting, otherwise the above should be fine.

 

Charlton Chase 2014 Aftermath

Alex General Nuggets, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 2 Comments

It all feels like a bad dream now that I’ve had some rest. I’m about 75% certain that it definitely happened and for some bizarre reason, I’m hardly able to walk. Here is my point of view for the Charlton Chase this year.

A Terrible Start

After arriving at Seaford College (which is actually in Petworth) we were rushed through the system. Tom Foreman decided that it was appropriate not to bring a hat or gloves even though it was CLEARLY stated on the kit-list. This however was a minor setback, as we had a bigger problem with our first optional via, which appeared to be  magically wiped from existence. We were however able to navigate to both nodals on our way to the first gateway checkpoint (Malcombe). On the way we sang songs to keep spirits high and powered up the hilly landscape.

The map plotting disaster

Shortly after arriving at Malcombe, the heavens decided to open, causing the permanent markers to stop working. This meant that China Graph pencils had to be used, which are utterly useless! The rain didn’t last for long, so with a bit of map drying and plotting, we were on our way.

Our finest hours

Despite our map plotting being extremely rubbish due to the rainy conditions, we were able to find our way easily through the next nodals and to on Broadwalk, picking up additional advice from other teams along the way. After reaching Broadwalk, we plotted our root to North Gate providing advice to the B team on nodal point 9. Whilst walking the singing continued. We were racking up a fair amount of points and I was certain that we had plenty of time. At 1:00AM Tom Thorburn provided me with a delicious bacon sandwich, which had been made by his mother, twenty minutes later, we reached a nodal where Tom Foreman was able to redeem himself by guessing the weight of his bag to its exact number (7.5 Kilograms) I think I might have also seen team 75 from last year, but I decided against asking.

Just Our Luck

After plotting our route back to Malcombe, we set out only to get lost in the middle of a field. After this we started running out of time very quickly! I started seeing things and the rest of the team suffered from extreme paranoia, in addition to this our team suffered multiple casualties, so we decided not to risk it and ended our endeavour at Malcombe. It is a real shame we weren’t able to complete the course.

The wait for results

The results have not been released yet, and I know many will be looking for the final results. I’m pretty sure that they should be up at http://charltonchase.org.uk within the next 24 hours

Charlton Chase 2014

Alex General Nuggets, The Weird, Wired and Wacky World Of Alex Wornast 0 Comments

So it’s that time of year again when many 15 to 21 year olds run around like mad hatters in teams of four, chasing a man who escapes every year called Charlton.

Of course I’m talking about the Charlton Chase event, organised and run by West Sussex county council’s youth support and development service. It takes place over a wide area that starts at Seaford college. This event involves navigating at night to certain checkpoints gathering points along the way by performing certain tasks (and bribing the organisers with chocolate biscuits). No chasing of a man called Charlton, I just made that bit up

This is isn’t the first time that I’ve taken part in Charlton Chase, last year I was the final member of Sackville’s Team F (Team 50). I served as a backup navigator because navigating just from a map and the stars alone is a stupid idea. So after an hour, things were running smoothly, already we had found two checkpoints and racked up a fair amount of points. Then disaster struck. An injury we all believed had gone returned to one of our team mates, a ‘muscle to bone ratio’ problem in the right knee. Shortly after this Tom brought out his stove and cooked himself some dinner.

After staying here a while, allowing our friend’s knee to get some rest, a team of girls came past and asked for directions. I’m not sure what directional advice my colleagues gave team 75, but I am certain they didn’t find it useful.

By this time, all of Sackville’s teams (including our team) have left for Seaford college. Our kit will be thoroughly checked, before being released into the dark. If you are doing the Charlton Chase, then I’d strongly recommend not to follow our directional advice, we’ve all trained ourselves to lie about which way is right and which way is wrong and good luck.

Winter Riders

Dan Guest Post, sport 0 Comments

I’m looking into the future mainly at February main sporting events to look out for. Lets start with this weekends super bowl, to bad that it is a Monday morning over here, otherwise I would have watched. So moving on to later in the month we have the winter Olympics, which for means two weeks of ice hockey free from subscription.

That’s my month highlights. Oh and finally my ice hockey predictions: bronze to USA, silver to Russia and gold to Canada. That’s my prediction, what’s yours I would be interested to know.

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Chinese New Year, Year Of The Horse

Alex General Nuggets 0 Comments

So a few of you might be aware that today (31st January 2014) is in fact Chinese new year. This year, it’s the year of Horse.

Chinese new year often gets a lot of attention from astrological purposes, but it also marks the new lunar year. As you’re probably aware, the moon makes a full orbit approximately every 28 days. The Chinese derive their months using a lunar calendar which starts on the day of a new moon. The festivities start on the darkest day and continue until the 15th when the moon is brightest.

It’s said that the Buddha requested for all the animals to meet him before he passed from this world, in the year 483 BCE (Before Common Era, formerly known as BC) At eighty years of age, the Buddha was said to have found enlightenment and thus was dying. The animals were fond of him, so were eager to meet him and because of this there was a race to Buddha’s side. Each animal that reached Buddha was given a year. the full story can be found here if you’re interested in reading it.

Now many people like to read horoscopes and all that, whereas many others think that it is absolute balderdash. If you are however interested in that kind of thing, you can find information about it here otherwise, enjoy the festivities and the food!